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Ewa Janik on what it means to be an architect today #the architect profession

06 of May '20

What does it mean to be an architect today? What are the conditions for practicing this profession? In the series "The Architect's Profession" we address these two questions to Polish architects, and illustrate their statements with unrealized office projects. In today's installment, our questions are answered by Ewa Janik of the M.O.C. studio. ARCHITECTS.

Ewa Janik

Ewa Janik

1 What does it mean to be an architect today?

If we consider "being an architect" not only as a state of mind, but also as a profession, it should be noted that the latter space is built by a wide variety of mental and intellectual qualities, elements of various fields of knowledge and skills.

In the complex reality of today's world, amidst various fashions, aesthetics, amidst hard economic realities and habits that are often trivial, we try to responsibly and in accordance with our own dreams to create new senses of space organization.

Being an architect is still a craft where one must demonstrate mastery of the technical, design, organizational and material realities of an architectural work. It is still an art in those situations where we wish to subordinate these realities to our artistic vision. The spiritual condition of the architect grows in this situation on the painful tension between what is known, necessary and possible, and what is woven from the threads of dreams and imagination.

2 What are the conditions for practicing the profession of architecture?

The conditions of the contemporary position of an architect in Poland lie, on the one hand, in his capabilities defined by his education, and, on the other hand, in the cultural and socio-economicrealities of design activity. As far as the former is concerned, I dare say, based on the experience gained from Switzerland, that Polish architectural studies provide a solid foundation of knowledge and skills. However, this is only an initial potential. It undergoes real verification and further multiplication in the course of concrete professional activity. The latter, if it is to become fruitful, requires great creativity, courage, self-discipline, persistence, sometimes luck. All these qualities, are put to a constant test in the course of improvisational conduct of investors (most often private clients), amidst the overgrowth of bureaucratic action of public entities, complex legal and financial conditions of architectural activity, great competition in the architectural market. We also do not always find among the public the kind of trust and respect that grows out of the conviction that an architect is a specialist and master of his craft. I am afraid that being an architect under these conditions does not guarantee an easy and peaceful life. However, who said that a meaningful and beautiful life has to be such?



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